Freddie Oversteegen was one of the few woman who was active as part of the Dutch resistance during the Second World War. She was just 14 when her family was approached by a gentleman asking if she and her sisters would be allowed to join the resistance – as no-one would suspect 2 young girls of being resistance fighters, he stated. Little did they know that this decision would lead them to kill countless Nazi’s during the Second World War.
Now 90 years old, the story of Freddie Oversteegen’s life is quite a phenomenal one. During the war, Freddie, along with her sister Truus and the famous Hannie Schaft learnt to seduce Nazi collaborators and lure them into the woods under false pretences and instead of having a flirtatious encounter, the soldiers were greeted with a bullet to the head.
Hannie Schaft was unfortunately killed by the SS shortly before the end of the war, but the two sisters Freddie and Truus made it out alive after many years of successfully carrying out the work of active members of the resistance, and killing many Nazi’s whilst they were at it.
Freddie recalls some of her memories:
“I thought we would be starting a kind of secret army. The man that came to our door said that we would get military training, and they did teach us a thing or two. Someone taught us to shoot and we learned to march in the woods. There were about seven of us then – Hannie wasn’t a part of the group yet and we were the only girls. Much later, a Nazi big shot was killed in those same woods, and he was buried there as well. But Truus and I weren’t allowed to be there when that happened –they felt like that wasn’t something girls should see. I didn’t shoot him – one of the men did. I had to keep an eye on my sister and keep a lookout from a vantage point in the woods to see if no one was coming. Truus had met him in an expensive bar, seduced him and then took him for a walk in the woods. She was like: “Want to go for a stroll?” And of course he wanted to. Then they ran into someone – which was made to seem a coincidence, but he was one of ours – and that friend said to Truus: “Girl, you know you’re not supposed to be here.” They apologised, turned around, and walked away. And then shots were fired, so that man never knew what hit him. They had already dug the hole, but we weren’t allowed to be there for that part.”
After the war Freddie received very little recognition for her resistance efforts. Her sister Truus became an accomplished artist in the years following the conflict and Hannie Schaft became world famous and even had movies made about her story, one of which was “The Girl With The Red Hair.” It wasn’t until the Dutch filmmaker Thijs Zeeman made the decision to turn Freddie’s incredible story into a TV documentary called “Two Sisters In The Resistance” that her efforts were widely noted.
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